Meeting in the Andaz Hotel, Liverpool Street.
On the 13th February 2016, St Laurence Lodge held a meeting in the masonic temple in the Andaz Hotel Liverpool Street (formerly known as the Great Eastern Hotel). A double first degree ceremony was carried out so that all members of the lodge and their guests could attend, including entered apprentices. It was a wonderful opportunity to view this magnificent temple and proved to be a marvellous experience.
A few photos taken on the day.
The Andaz Hotel was built in 1884 as the Great Eastern Hotel and was one of the city’s original “railway hotels”.
It is an impressive mixture of Victorian craftsmanship and modern interiors and was designed by Charles Barry Jnr and Edward Barry, the sons of Sir Charles Barry, the architect best known for his role in rebuilding the Palace of Westminster. Charles Barry Jnr also designed the masonic temple, which was built in 1912 at a cost of some £50,000 (equivalent to around £4 million by today’s prices).
In later years, when the tourism industry boomed in London, hotels of all sizes sprang up across the city and cars gradually replaced trains as the primary mode of transport. Sadly, the Great Eastern Hotel soon fell behind the times and fell into decline.
In 1996, the Hotel was refurbished by designer Terence Conran. During the restoration, engineers were said to have noticed a few discrepancies in the blueprints. On removing one of the walls they found a wood-panelled antechamber and, on the other side of a studded double door, a vast and opulent masonic temple.
This previously forgotten temple is probably one of the most grandiose in London. Neoclassic in style, the windowless room is known as the “Grecian Temple.” It boasts a golden organ, hand-carved mahogany chairs, bronze candelabras on claw feet, and no less than 12 different types of marble used in the floor, columns, and walls. A blue and gold dome covers much of the ceiling, which bears a five-pointed “blazed star” and zodiac signs. The room conforms to the classic Masonic temple layout with a black and white chequered floor and discreet esoteric symbols. Beautiful!
The Great Eastern was rebranded as the Andaz Hotel by the Hyatt Corporation in 2007.